Union blasts pay incentives for firearms officers

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Plans to boost the number of detectives and firearms officers in Lancashire by offering financial incentives have been blasted by the Police Federation.

The suggestion for addressing a national shortage of officers in those roles was put forward by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

But Rachel Baines, chair of the Lancashire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said improvements to pay and conditions across the board should be come first.

Nationwide there are 19 forces the NPCC says should be able to pay bonuses to detectives, 11 for firearms officers and ten for custody officers.

The Police Federation is concerned there could be moves to implement the suggestion in Lancashire – although the Gazette understands no such decision has been made.

Ms Baines said: “Whilst I can see that a financial incentive may initially encourage more to apply for the role, it is a quick fix and does not deal with the underlying problems of why those roles are difficult to fill.

“The risks associated with being a firearms officer or a custody officer are so great, with a lack of protection and disproportionate investigations carried out against those doing that role.

“All roles within the police are carrying more significant risk than ever before, pay and conditions have been severely eroded for all police officers across the board and this needs to change first.”

The Gazette approached the office of Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner, for comment but no response was received.

The Metropolitan Police is leading the way on plans to incentivise key positions.

The force argues that some roles carry higher risk and can be ‘deeply unpleasant’.

Bosses at the London force claim financial reward is the only path open to improve recruitment in some positions.